ContraNorm: A Contrastive Learning Perspective on Oversmoothing and BeyondDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 28 May 2023ICLR 2023 posterReaders: Everyone
Abstract: Oversmoothing is a common phenomenon in a wide range of Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) and Transformers, where performance degenerates as the layer goes deeper. Instead of characterizing oversmoothing from the view of complete collapse in which representations converge to a single point, we dive into a more general perspective dimensional collapse in which representations lie in a narrow cone. Accordingly, inspired by the power of contrastive learning in preventing dimensional collapse, we propose a novel normalization layer ContraNorm. Intuitively, ContraNorm implicitly shatters representations in the embedding space, leading to a more uniform distribution and slighter dimensional collapse. On the theoretical analysis, we prove that ContraNorm can alleviate both complete collapse and dimensional collapse under some conditions. Our proposed normalization layer can be easily inserted into GNNs and Transformers with negligible parameter overhead. Experiments on various real-world datasets verify the effectiveness of our method.
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